Coyotes fire back at Glendale City Council's 'political gamesmanship'

Coyotes fire back at Glendale City Council's 'political gamesmanship'

The Arizona Coyotes $50 million monetary losses ‘out clause’ has often been mentioned as the team’s reason to possibly leave the desert.

Team President and CEO  Anthony LeBlanc inferred such an issue is a moot point at this juncture. Because the Glendale City Council voted to terminate the Coyotes’ operating agreement for Gila River Arena on Wednesday night.

“Guess what, we have an out right now. We’re going the other way,” LeBlanc said.

Burrrrrrrrrrrn?

Perhaps. 

The man definitely has the gift of gab and comes across as a very persuasive speaker.

“We continue to believe very strongly in this as a hockey market and we feel strongly that the actions by council last night were a violation under the obligation of their agreement and a blatant violation of their contractual obligations,” he said. 

Trying to stay in Glendale at this point may appear like a fool's errand.

LeBlanc used the terms:

“Political gamesmanship” and “strong-armed tactics” in regards to the Glendale City Council's recent decisions.

This is true to a major degree. Glendale doesn’t like the lease – which is indeed favorable to the Coyotes. It wants a different deal. This makes sense for those who don’t believe public funds should be used for a privately owned sporting entity.

As to what the Coyotes do moving forward and where they should play TSN’s Rick Westhead got some sabre-rattling from Glendale.

Glendale Vice Mayor Ian Hugh told TSN the Coyotes were also tenants in the city-owned arena under terms of that agreement. Hugh said now that council has cancelled the arena management deal, the Coyotes are without a place to play their home games.

And ...

The city of Glendale will contact venue management companies in coming days to start booking dates at Gila River Arena for this fall and winter.

Basically they’re going to try to show the world that arena can survive without an anchor tenant. Oh the fun continues. I can’t wait for the NHL to announce its schedule. 

Also, the Coyotes have pushed a $200 million lawsuit against Glendale’s actions. 

“We’re at the mercy of the court and we’re at the mercy of a judge. We feel very confident we have a strong case and will be positive, but if that goes sideways to speak, then we have to figure out what our Plan B is,” LeBlanc said.

Whoa nelly … Plan B! Who knows what Plan B will look like once it’s unleashed!

With both sides, it’s all about finding the best path forward. Regardless of their convictions on what is right, legal wrangling is often considered a nuclear option, not good faith bargaining.

“I’m talking to sponsors, season ticket holders, we’ve had a number – constant stream of people – who want to know what’s going on and want to know if they can hold off on their payments. We’ve been working with potential new clients. Those are all on hold,” LeBlanc said. “We have a general manager who is getting ready for the most important part of building your team for the upcoming season, we have the draft in a couple of weeks and free agency opening.” 

Though some of these comments from LeBlanc were probably made to arouse some sympathy, he does have a point. How can Don Maloney try to attract free agents and their families to a team that could move?

How can LeBlanc sell sponsorship deals when there’s this type of uncertainty? 

And the fun continues. 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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